Why Assassin's Creed Brotherhood's Multiplayer May Seem Familiar

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood doesn't come out until mid November, but you may have already played the multiplayer, or a form of it.

The first time I tried my hand at the fun, addictive, very unusual multiplayer for Assassin's Creed, it reminded me of another game: the free iPhone game, Assassin's Creed II Multiplayer.

That's because, graphics aside, the two games are nearly identical.

In both games you play as one of a number of Assassin's Creed archetypes. Once the game starts, the object is to find your target, another archetype, and kill him. But the problem is that there are a number of characters that look the same and you have to figure out which is the one controlled by another person. Usually you can do that by watching the way they behave. Once they start running, attacking other players, hiding or climbing, you know it's a human-controller character.

At the same time though, someone is hunting for you, so you need to do your best to not draw attention to yourself.

There are, of course, some key differences between the iPhone and console versions of the multplayer game.

While the iPhone game is played from a flat, top-down perspective, the console version is the full Assassin's Creed third-person perspective. And the the console version also has quite a number of other interesting additions.

The key one is that you have the ability to run about the map and defend yourself. You also are able to select a number of character-specific special abilities, like throwing a smoke bomb, arming yourself with a gun, or disguising yourself as another character.

The gameplay becomes a bit more tactical and adds an almost shooter element, since you can counter assassination attempts on your character.

While I found the iPhone version of the game a fun, free diversion, the full console version is deeply addictive and entertaining. I've played it twice, once before E3 and once during Gamescom, and both times I found it hard to stop playing.

It's not the typical multiplayer fare, and that's what makes it so pleasantly surprising.

I'm sure the full single-player campaign for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood will be well worth the price of admission, but I'd almost pay full price just to keep trying my hand at this multiplayer.